Credit: Mississippi State Athletics
Graduate student center Jessika Carter turned in her 13th career 20-plus point and 10-plus rebound performance to lead Mississippi State over Kentucky in overtime 77-73 inside Rupp Arena on Thursday.
Graduate student center Jessika Carter totaled 25 points on 9-15 from the field and 7-7 from the free throw line, in addition to 13 rebounds and three blocks in a career-high 42 minutes. Sophomore guard Debreasha Powe finished with 16 points and three steals in 24 minutes.
It also marked the 37th career double-double for Carter. Mississippi State improves to 9-0 this season and 19-0 under head coach Sam Purcell when Carter records a double-double.
With the win, Mississippi State improves to 18-5 overall and 5-3 in the SEC.
Carter scored all 10 first-quarter points to secure Mississippi State a 10-9 lead after the initial 10 minutes.
Mississippi State opened up a 23-15 margin with a 6-0 run while holding Kentucky to a scoring drought of 4:39 minutes of action at the 4:18 mark of the second quarter.
Mississippi State headed into the half with a 29-22 lead after converting on four of its final five possessions. Carter paced all Bulldogs with 12 points and seven rebounds in the first half.
Mississippi State scored 16 of its 29 first half points in the paint and held their hosts to 29.4 percent from the field. The Bulldogs finished with their fifth contest with 40-plus paint points in conference action.
In a back-and-forth third quarter, Kentucky took its first lead since the first quarter at 38-37 immediately following the media timeout.
Carter added 10 points on 4-4 from the field with five rebounds in the third quarter to propel Mississippi State to a 47-45 lead after heading into the final frame.
An 11-2 run provided Kentucky with a 58-53 lead with 4:38 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Trailing now 57-63 with 54 seconds left in regulation, Mississippi State knocked three threes over the final minute – a pair of which came from Powe – to take a 66-64 lead leading into Kentucky’s final possession. The Wildcats would convert on a finish inside the paint to force overtime at 66 all.
Freshman guard Jasmine Brown-Hagger scored in traffic to strike first in overtime and secure Mississippi State a 68-66 lead that it would not relinquish for the remainder of extra period.
Mississippi State remains on the road at Texas A&M on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. CT on SEC Network.